Chard and Spring Onion Pasta
If there’s anything I love the most about where we live here in Kansas City, it’s the plethora of Farmer’s Markets just down the street from us. Yes, yes, I know that this is now the middle of July and spring onions don’t seem all that applicable right now. I’m behind. But in the spring time, the plethora of greens and baby vegetables was incredible. Before I really got in to cooking I didn’t know a thing about spring vegetables besides asparagus and rhubarb. But a few months ago I found a vendor at the market who sells the most amazing greens. One day he gave me a whole bag of bibb lettuce for $1. So of course I became his biggest fan. And recently I bought the sweetest bundle of rainbow chard I’ve even seen.
When things are that beautiful, it’s so easy to learn to love them. I feel like this year has been the year of falling in love with swiss chard. We have some outside growing in an old wooden drawer. Not as pretty as rainbow chard, but still wonderfully tasty, and especially good in this dish.
Yes, we made this in the spring time, and yes, it took me two months to post it, but yes, it can also be made with regular onions or even a bunch of green onions, or maybe even leeks. But spring onions are so beautiful bubbling away on the stove… I want spring to come back, when it wasn’t 90 degrees on a cool day, and when I could pick up cute little baby onions on a Saturday morning… and maybe eat a green pasta dish as a picnic…
Swiss Chard and Spring Onion Pasta
(from Smitten Kitchen)
serves 2-3 people with leftover sauce
1 lb Swiss chard, stems removed and sliced into 1 inch strips
3 spring onions, sliced*
1 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 3/4 cups milk (I used 2% but have also used 1% and whole with success)
salt and pepper
1/2 lb pasta (something small and textured works well, like fusilli, rotini, bow-tie, and shells)
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for the time allotted on the packaging.
Place the washed and sliced chard in large pot with a bit of water. Cook, covered, at high heat for 5-6 minutes, until it has wilted. Remove chard from the pot and drain/press the excess water from the greens. Set it aside.
Heat the milk in a small pan over medium low heat, maintaining warmth. Cook the onion and garlic with the butter in a large pot over medium heat until the onion is soft (about 5 minutes). Add the flour to the pot and whisk constantly to create the roux. Cook flour for 3 minutes. Add the warm milk and continue whisking, cooking until the milk has thickened. This is a surprisingly quick process. Add the chard and season with salt and pepper.
Serve on top of drained pasta. You may add parmesan cheese if you would like, but I find it completely unnecessary.
*Spring onions can be prepared as green onions–the green parts can also be used. I suggest cooking with the whites and the greens up to where they start getting flimsy. (about 2/3 the way up the stalk).